Skip to comments.AMERICANS GAIN IN NEW BRITAIN (12/18/43)
Posted on 12/18/2013 4:37:21 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
Billboard Top Ten for the Week of December 18, 1943
#1 Paper Doll - Mills Brothers
#2 Pistol Packin Mama - Bing Crosby, with the Andrews Sisters
#3 - People Will Say Were in Love - Bing Crosby, with Trudy Erwin
#4 Ill Be Home for Christmas - Bing Crosby
#5 - My Heart Tells Me - Glen Gray, with Eugenie Baird
#6 - Oh What a Beautiful Mornin Bing Crosby, with Trudy Erwin
#7 Boogie Woogie - Tommy Dorsey
#8 - Sunday Monday or Always - Bing Crosby, with the Ken Darby Singers
#9 - Oklahoma cast album - Broadway cast of Oklahoma
#10 - Theyre Either Too Young or Too Old - Jimmy Dorsey, with Kitty Kallen
Japanese Hit Back (Kluckhohn) 2-3
Vandegrift Backs Method at Tarawa 3
U.S. Submarines Get 8 More Ships 3
War News Summarized 3
Eisenhower Shift Gaining Credence 4
French in Action on Front in Italy (Bracker) 5-6
Italians Take Hill in San Pietro Area (Matthews) 6
Nazi Drive Halted by Tito Partisans (Sulzberger) 6-7
Nazis Admit Trumping Up Charges to Execute Soviet War Captives (Lawrence) 7
The Texts of the Days Communiques on the War 8-9
U.S. Planes over Scene of Savage Tarawa Fighting (photo) 9
Allies gaining ground in Italy
Saturday, December 18, 1943 www.onwar.com
Allied columns advancing in Italy [photo at link]
In Italy... The US 5th Army captures Monte Lungo, threatening the German position at San Pietro. German forces launch counterattacks. San Pietro falls to the US 36th Division (part of 2nd Corps, 5th Army). The 6th Corps advances as the German forces withdraw.
December 18th, 1943 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Frigate HMS Barbados commissioned.
FRANCE: USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-26 Marauders bomb the Var River bridges, destroying a highway bridge and damaging a railroad bridge. Other B-26s have less success against the Antheor viaduct, although there are several near misses.
GERMANY: German citizens could face further curbs on rail travel and stiff fare rises this Christmas as the Reichsbahn, the state railway, is increasingly given over to military use. Already, in an attempt to prevent civilians from crowding the trains - especially long-distance ones - school summer holidays in the Reich begin on three different days, according to region, and travel at Easter, Whitsun, Christmas and New Year is restricted.
U-1110 laid down.
U-245, U-398 commissioned.
ITALY: Monte Lungo falls to units of the US 5th Army. The Germans respond with heavy counterattacks. The US 36th Division enters San Pietro, the leading role in this attack was played by the 1st Italian Motorized Brigade, the first substantial Italian ground unit to fight for the Allies. (Keith Allen)
The Germans continue to withdraw due to the pressure of the US VI Corps. In the U.S. Fifth Army’s II Corps area, patrols find the Germans still clinging to the western slopes of Mt. Sammucro. The VI Corps advances in center along the St. Elia road as the Germans withdraw. French troops occupy the rest of the Mt. Pantano hill mass; on the road to Atina, they clear the Cerasuolo area.
Weather limits air operations. USAAF Twelfth Air Force P-40 fighter-bombers attack positions in Tollo, Canosa Sannita, and Orsogna, and strafe a schooner off Trogir. A-36 Apaches hit defended areas near Cassino and at Viticuso, a supply dump and gun emplacement near Tenacina, and positions at Monte Trocchio.
Whilst carrying out routine sweeping operations, minesweeper HMS Felixstowe is mined 3 miles East of Cape Ferro Sardinia at 41 10N 08 40E. There are no casualties. (Alex Gordon)(108)
INDIA: New Delhi: General Joseph Stilwell is appointed to command all Chinese troops in India and north Burma.
The Third Tactical Air Force is activated at Comilla under Air Marshall Sir John E Baldwin (RAF) as a major component of Eastern Air Command. The new command is tasked with counter-air force operations over eastern India and Burma.
CHINA: Japanese aircraft raid Kunming, in Yunnan province, as part of a strategy to weaken the Allies prior to an attack on India.
Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek gives Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell full command of Chinese troops in India and in the Hukawng Valley of Burma. Stillwell is Commander-in-Chief US China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-Shek, Commander-in-Chief Northern Area Combat Command and Deputy Commander in Chief South-East Asia Command.
Twenty seven USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators, supported by 28 P-40s, bomb the airfield at Namsang and some of the P-40s strafe Laihka Airfield. Two B-25 Mitchells on a sea sweep claim damaging hits on a freighter and a tanker in the Hainan Straits and five B-25s bomb the southwestern part of Nanhsien.
HONG KONG: Capt. Douglas Ford (b.1918), Royal Scots, Flt-Lt Hector Bertram Gray (b.1911) and Col. Lanceray Arthur Newnham (b.1889), Middlesex Regt, were executed. They had run activities such as smuggling medicines into their PoW camp and planning an escape until they were discovered and subjected to five months of fruitless interrogation and torture. (George Crosses)
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, 33 USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs bomb and strafe dumps and bivouacs north of Finschhafen.
FRENCH INDOCHINA: USN submarine USS Cabrilla (SS-288) lays mines off Saracen Bay, Cambodia.
GILBERT ISLANDS: 46th Fighter Squadron with P-39’s and the 531st Fighter-Bomber Squadron with A-24’s (USMC SBD) moved from Canton Island to Makin and the 72d Fighter Squadron with P-39’s from Hawaii to Makin.
NEW BRITAIN: The operation to capture New Britain has begun. Three days ago the US 112th Cavalry under Brigadier-General Julian Cunningham staged diversionary amphibious landings on the Arawe peninsula, on the south-coast. Today pre-invasion air attacks were intensified against Cape Gloucester, in the west.
The 112th, after embarking in New Guinea for Arawe on 14 December, followed a last-minute plan to establish four beach-heads. Three landings at the peninsula’s tip were virtually unopposed. But a second wave in 15 rubber boats, trying to land halfway along the peninsula and take Arawe’s grass airstrip, was spotted and lost 12 boats. The invasion is the start of the fifth and final phase of MacArthur’s “Elkton” plan for Allied forces from New Guinea and the Solomons to converge and isolate the key base at Rabaul.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Preinvasion air operations against the Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island area are intensified. USAAF Fifth Air Force 70+ B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, and B-26 Marauders bomb Cape Gloucester. Over 20 B-25s bomb the Borgen Bay area; and nearly 40 B-24s hit Hoskins Airfield.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: On Bougainville, ten Thirteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb the Kahili supply area, five more hit the Bonis supply area, and 19 others hit targets in the Chabai-Porton area. Five 5 B-25 Mitchells carry out a low-level strike on troop concentrations at Poroporo and 11 bomb Korovo. B-24s, operating individually and in small flights, on armed reconnaissance attack Kahili, Kieta, and Poporang while fighters strafe targets of opportunity at Numa Numa, Cape Pui Pui, and the east coast of Buka Island north of Bougainville.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Fourteen USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Milli Atoll.
AUSTRALIA: Frigate HMAS Shoalhaven laid down.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Riviere Du Loup arrived Halifax from builder Quebec City, Province of Quebec.
General Henry H “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General USAAF, sends an announcement to RAF Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal, Chief of the Air Staff, of the U.S. air officers for top commands in Europe in 1944. The list includes Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker, Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO); Lieutenant General John K Cannon, Twelfth Air Force; Lieutenant General Nathan F Twining, Fifteenth Air Force; General Carl Spaatz, US Strategic Air Forces (USSAFE); Lieutenant General James H Doolittle, Eighth Air Force; and Lieutenant General Lewis H Brereton, Ninth Air Force.
On the basis of his belief that tests indicate the practicability of ship-based helicopters, the Chief of Naval Operations separates the pilot training from test and development functions in the helicopter program. He directs that, effective 1 January 1944, a helicopter pilot training program be conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard at Coast Guard Air Station New York, New York (Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn), under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air).
Destroyer escorts USS Jack W Wilke and Shelton launched.
Destroyer escort USS Janssen commissioned.
Destroyer USS Morrison commissioned.
"During the Second World War, tens of thousands of men and women joined partisan forces that operated primarily in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Whether they operated alone, teamed with family members, or belonged to secular nationalist units, partisan fighters lived a precarious and dangerous existence.
"Many partisans based themselves in the forested regions of Eastern Europe, surviving on captured and foraged food.
The need to avoid detection prevented them from building permanent structures.
They sheltered in dugouts or slept under the cover of branches and leaves.
The long winter nights were especially brutal, for fires were a luxury that clandestine partisan fighters could not afford.
"Partisan life differed for Jews and gentiles.
Whereas gentile partisans could vanish from the scene by seeking shelter from local residents, very few Eastern Europeans willingly sheltered and fed Jewish partisans.
Having escaped life in a ghetto to become a partisan, Jews had no neutral area where they could live unmolested by the Nazi authorities.
Jewish partisans were hunted by the Nazis and often hated by the local inhabitants."
Partisans had it really rough. The photo makes it appear as if that particular group was out for a picnic lunch and afternoon of target shooting.
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